‘Giant wind turbines are not wanted in Hartlepool,’ opponents tell Government inspector

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Opponents to potential 325ft wind turbines in Hartlepool urged a Government appointed inspector to remove them from council plans.

Land in Brenda Road is earmarked in Hartlepool Borough Council’s new Local Plan policy blueprint for up to four wind turbines at a maximum of 99 metres tall.

Local Plan inspector David Spencer (centre) hears submissions from Hartlepool Borough Council officers (left) and wind turbine objectors (right).

Local Plan inspector David Spencer (centre) hears submissions from Hartlepool Borough Council officers (left) and wind turbine objectors (right).

Residents of Seaton Carew, including the Seaton Carew Wind Turbine Action Association, are objecting based on the impact they say they will have on the area.

The action group told inspector David Spencer, who will decide if the Local Plan is sound, of their concerns around their visual impact, along with noise, light flicker and possible health risks.

Paul Bennett, a member of Seaton Wind Turbine Action Association, said it was ‘futile’ to set aside land on Brenda Road given an overwhelming lack of local support.

He told yesterday’s hearing at Hartlepool College of Further Education: “We have a right not to have unwanted industry intrude and trespass into our homes or affect our health. We are stakeholders too.”

We have a right not to have unwanted industry intrude and trespass into our homes or affect our health

Paul Bennett, Seaton Carew Wind Turbine Action Association

Mr Bennett said only about 2% of people are in favour of turbines adding: “The council’s encouragement of an unwanted localised wind farm goes against community wishes and doesn’t meet local community needs. Neither does it improve quality of life in local area.”

Monica Vaughan, from the action group said there was a potential risk to people’s general health from infrasound produced by turbines.

“We cannot afford to put residents’ health at risk,” she said.

Seaton Councillor James Black quoted former Local Government Secretary Greg Clark saying in June 2015 that communities should be free to decide whether they want wind turbines and where they should be.

Coun Black said: “We don’t want these wind turbines, please remove them from the plan.”

Council officers defended the selection of Brenda Road for future turbines saying they would be in keeping with the mainly industrial character of the area where there are already several other high structures.

They added residents had been listened to as the number of potential turbines allowed had been reduced from six to four, and the land boundary had been moved further away from homes.

They added the public would also have their say on any planning applications that are made.